Rekindled is a historical fiction about how Roger Williams becomes the original architect of the separation of church and state. He must survive the men that intend to silence him in order to engineer and demonstrate a new society structure that will protect people voicing ideas and heartfelt convictions while keeping civil peace. If he fails, the tragedy of needless loss of life and livelihood will continue unabated on both sides of the Atlantic. Roger Williams obtained the first charter for the colony of Rhode Island in 1644, as an explicit experiment in the separation of church and state.
Rekindled is also a historical fi ction about Miantonomoh, an Algonquian prince from the elite line called the Steward rulers. He must prove himself a competent general, diplomat, and family man to lead the Narragansett and other Algonquian. If none like Miantonomoh succeeds cruel English puppet prince Uncas will rule but rapidly lose followers."
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Teresa was born in Houston, TX, raised in Utah, Kansas and Texas. She lives in New Jersey and Arizona. She trained to be a chemist until the last semester of undergraduate school when she realized she would graduate more quickly with a degree in Mathematics. Now she satisfies her chemical curiosity cooking in the kitchen, sometimes to the chagrin of her kids. For years she worked in a large corporation where she met many memorable brilliant people from all over the world pursuing the American Dream.
When her five-year-old son reviewed the family tree kindergarten assignment spanning fourteen generations in multiple lines, he crumpled his brow in study for a long pause. The poster size tree included shipwrecks, soldiers on both sides of the civil war, religious activists, English Colonists and American pioneers. He had one comment. ""Mom, I was just sure Chuck Yeager would be in there somewhere.""
After the death of her fi rst husband, Teresa used exercise to combat grief. She became an endurance athlete, eventually completing the Iditasport a 100 mile race over ice and snow.
Teresa is a follower of Jesus Christ, though flawed -- in other words just like his other followers. As such, she is utterly reliant on the grace of God, which she finds in the Roman Catholic, Baptist, Moravian and nondenominational traditions."
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By Teresa Irizarry
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2015 Teresa Irizarry
All rights reserved.
London, AD 1608
The young man loped easily through London, weaving in between the men and women carrying heavy burdens of merchandise. His burden was light and invisible — a letter from the schoolmaster to the leader of the small secret group that would meet in an hour. His mistake was slowing down as he reached unfamiliar territory on Bread Street, where the house gathering would take place. Suddenly out of nowhere boys bigger than he, meaner than he, and more English than he popped into view, surrounding him.
"Look, a Dutchie, a Stranger!"
"What do you think you're doing here?" taunted another.
"He thinks he's protected by some Privy Council act. We'll just see about that."
"I got his cap — hey, let's get his shirt too. We'll teach him to come to Bread Street alone!"
Hendric could not afford to lose the letter in his shirt. He struck the boy closest and made a run for it. He was caught by two others waiting around the corner. They easily held the lanky lad, who was more used to debating matters in his schoolbooks and interpretations of the Greek and Hebrew Bible at the Austin Friar school than to physical altercations. Unfortunately for Hendric, he was outnumbered and overpowered.
The boys did not beat him up long, for they decided that the reward might be greater if they dragged him to the magistrate.
"State your business now," the magistrate demanded. Hendric was silent, terrified. The scuffle exposed the top of the letter, and the boys had helped themselves to it, though it made no sense to them. The magistrate looked closely at it with trained eyes. Hendric's heart sank. He must never ever tell where he had been going with that letter nor who sent him. He felt alone. The officer's eyes shone with an evil glint as he began to realize what he had in his hands. This was a fair catch! He'd get a bonus for bringing this one in. He grabbed Hendric's collar, nodding brusquely to the boys to collect their reward and be off. Then it got worse.
"Where do you live? Who sent you? We'll give you a finder's fee for everyone you name." Hendric stayed silent, and he remained silent when they beat him. Eventually he woke up bruised, his shirt torn, bleeding from his nose and mouth in a dank, dark, rotten place called Newgate.
Hendric knew there was a long history between his ancestors and the English — a love-hate relationship that started when his merchant ancestors helped King Henry VIII in his wars. In return, the king allowed the Dutch merchants trading rights and religious harbor. It didn't hurt that King Henry VIII had it in for the pope over his divorce. In revenge, he sponsored the publication of an English Bible translated from German and Latin. Once the English Bible was published, all of England would see that there was no pope included in it.
Even so, the identity of the translator was a great family secret. Two years before King Henry VIII came to his decision to authorize a translation, the original translator, William Tynsdale, was strangled and then burned at the stake. No one wanted that fate. Even if a current monarch was supportive, the next one might not be. Only a select few knew that a key translator was a well-respected cloth merchant, Jacob van Meteren. Jacob was Hendric's grandfather. In addition to performing the translation work, he paid for the printing. The tracks had been covered well. The family waited for just the right moment to unveil the resulting document. While Henry VIII was at the peak of his anger at the pope, translators were able to receive an endorsement from Henry VIII, enabling publication as an instrument of the crown. The secret group of translators drew straws to elect a sacrificial lamb, Myles Coverdale — in case of future royal disapproval. Myles successfully insisted that it had been his work alone, never betraying his partners. Jacob took refuge in Germany for a time just to be sure.
Hendric knew what it was that drove his grandfather, a passionate desire for a more faithful translation. No one man could interpret the scriptures perfectly — and each successive interpretation if not from the original language lost more. The Latin Bible was corrupt with mistranslations that obscured the message; the German was not directly translated from the original Hebrew and Greek, either. The Van Meteren family became the key financier and architect of Austin Friar language education — the stated reason being so that the Strangers would continue to know Dutch; however, Greek and Hebrew were taught to all who would learn. The hope was that, with so many reading the original language translation of the Bible, the full revelation and authority of scripture would be rekindled to guide followers of the Way and that gaps in the Bibles in other languages would over time be eliminated.
The Dutch "Strangers" who produced Hendric were industrious and wealthy traders, putting English craftsman to shame with their superior technology. Their ties to the English Puritan community ran deep. The Puritans shared the belief in direct Bible reading as the primary way to keep the church the unstained Bride of Christ as she was intended to be. Puritanism was illegal. Dutch Strangers were tolerated because of their trade secrets and the wealth they brought to the crown. Ties between the Strangers and the Puritans were strictly forbidden.
As recently as 1561, Hendric's uncle, Emanuel Van Meteren, rescued an Austin Friar minister who was caught assisting Anabaptists. The trouble that followed threatened the welcome of the Dutch church in England. It was Emanuel himself, a clever negotiator, who suggested his own very public ex-communication, along with that of other supporters. In this way the Austin Friar church and school would be left alone. From then on, sources of financial support and all communication were carefully guarded secrets. The secret was so safely kept that all observing the decline in membership of Austin Friar assumed the decline was among poorer artisans, and not the wealthy merchant class, because the church budget did not go down. That fiction became a rumor that Emanuel and the three ministers at Austin Friar declined to deny.
Hendric worked hard at his studies, and on the first nights of his imprisonment his chief worry was falling behind the other students and losing ground toward winning a precious Austin Friar sponsorship to higher learning.
Hendric was getting hungry — stomach-hurting, brain-focusing hungry. He recalled a feast in the 260-person Draper's Hall that he served. He longed now for droppings from that table. Thick, hearty pea soup chock full of crunchy grilled salt pork served with rye bread and plenty of mustard. Smoked sausages cooked with parsnips, carrots, and onions, the vegetables perfectly caramelized in butter. Plenty of warm ale to wash it all down. Thin milk pudding with delicate sweet pastries — flaky on the outside while doughy on the inside. Oh, this thinking and remembering was making it far, far worse. Hendric was cold, it was dark, and there was no end in sight.
The English merchants resented the continued favor from the crown toward the Dutch Strangers and repeatedly harassed and sought injunctions against the trade of the Dutch. So it was no surprise how the young men of Bread Street felt about a Stranger. Newgate prison still seemed unbelievably bad fortune. How could it be? Hendric hadn't even done anything with his life yet — it was too soon to be tossed away. At the same time, he knew family history and that its consequence would be that Uncle Emanuel could not afford to help anyone in his position.
Just yesterday he'd been schoolmaster Abraham de Cerf 's brightest student and one of minister Symon Ruytinck's best assistants in the Austin Friar church. The school was part of the church, and the church was protected with a charter. Hendric was fluent in Greek and Hebrew, was advanced in scripture interpretation, and enjoyed searching for places where translation errors masked The Way. He wanted to join his ancestors in cracking the "original code" of Hebrew and Greek meanings behind the inspired writing of underground followers of the Way from a thousand years prior. He and his pals were dedicated to seeing this code cracked completely and finding all the places the translation must therefore be changed. The danger of the adventure made it irresistible to a schoolboy and gave it all the greater air of importance. Yet, Hendric was just beginning to understand the vast difference between flirting with danger and the reality of actually being a prisoner.
The misery he found himself experiencing was not in itself an unacceptable or uncommon state for his time. The streets of London stank of sewage, hunger was common, and it was a full 150 years before happiness would even be recognized as one of the objectives in this life. Most were resigned to a fate of struggling against disease, stench, and death. His shock and incredulity stemmed more from his perception that his own brief life, his own bright purpose, the one he was so sure was ordained by God, seemed to be on hold or to have been tossed away.
London AD 1609
Joan Helwys was working through chores as fast as her hands would go, shelling peas, changing a diaper, when the knock came at the door. Agents of the magistrate stood outside. It was quite a surprise to see them in the midst of the large Broxtowe Hall Estate. As the surviving firstborn son, her husband now owned the estate. While he was away it was up to Joan to run the place. When the agents of the magistrate appeared at the door, Joan was not concerned at first, as her husband Thomas, whom she presumed they'd be after, was safely in the Netherlands. Their small church group was currently living in the Netherlands, supported by Helwys's wealth, just to avoid just such a magistrate's call. Yet Joan had not gone. Her home, the land she loved, as well as the animals they raised, the garden they loved, her parents, her friends, her extended family, and the family's servants were all here. Her seven children needed support, and she did not speak Dutch at all. She had no desire to live in the Netherlands in some shabby rooms where she could not even build a garden.
Mary, Joan's seventeen-year-old maidservant, opened the door and her eyes went wide.
"Joan Helwys, present yourself for arrest!" boomed the agent to Joan past Mary. Joan fell into shock.
"Johannes — you are in charge here," she yelled to her eldest son as she raced to the door with her eyes fixed on Mary, who would need to assist him in running the place. Then, with no time for anything else, she cried, "Here I am; what is the trouble?"
"Come with us," demanded the two men — big, strong fellows with the physical authority to enforce their magistrate's authority. With that, she was gone.
Mary posted a letter from Johannes to his father in the Netherlands the following day, for they were in no position to run the estate without an adult. Johannes was but thirteen years old and just home from boarding school on weekends. Thomas needed to return home or give them instructions.
Several weeks later, Joan was brought before the judge and jury. At that time, there was not thought to be a need for a defense lawyer in such matters, since it was believed that an honest person should not need one. So Joan had no lawyer and no prior information on the charges against her. She was immediately asked to swear an oath: "I swear by Almighty God that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
This she could not do. Separatists believed that no civil authority could dictate their relationship with God, and she could take no oath on God's name for a king or his magistrates and representatives. God to her was sovereign. The oath was forced worship and a blasphemy against God.
As a result, she was quickly found guilty and sentenced to banishment. In seventeenth-century London, a guilty woman could plead her belly, meaning that she was with child. Joan promptly did exactly that. This caused a jury of matrons to be scheduled to examine her. When she showed up to this jury the next week she brought all seven children with her. The matrons quickly supported her plea for her belly, and the proceeding was over. Her sentence would not be carried out, and she was released. How many of the matrons were secret separatists following the Way, no one will ever know.
Joan Helwys was relieved, but the situation was quite a scare and meant hardship for her family, especially as she had a miscarriage shortly thereafter. Thomas Helwys no longer believed his family safe, and he felt inordinately guilty for leaving them.
Thomas was dedicated to his small flock. He was sponsoring the relocation from England to the Netherlands, as he had helped a sister flock led by John Robinson and others. The Robinson church originally spawned the Helwys/Smyth congregation to reach new neighborhoods in England. The two congregations made a simultaneous decision to flee England as King James started to crack down on men who did not submit to the Church of England. It now seemed ironic that his wife was not with him. He owned a significant estate in England, however, and had presumed that his family was safe. Thomas Helwys, in turmoil, made a decision. He must stand up for his faith in England alongside his wife. Hiding in Amsterdam was not accomplishing anything for God. How could he sit there writing about perseverance in the face of persecution when he had run away? Helwys posted a letter to the king privately from the Netherlands and awaited a response.
King James took his role as Defender of the Anglican faith seriously. He famously took the time to converse at length with theologians — most frequently with orthodox teachers like Richard Neile and but sometimes with separatists. Discussions at court seemed promising for shaping the future of the Anglican Church to return to the Way now that it was fully separate from the Roman Catholic tradition. Puritans and Anabaptists wanted to convince the king to make the Anglican Church a pure church. All were aware that King James was deciding the sort of church that England would support, and Thomas Helwys wanted to influence the king.
London AD 1609
Hendric's mother, Orrelia, was beside herself. Hendric had not been seen for weeks. She was used to relying on Hendric for company, for physical strength, and as her sole connection to the intellectual world. While Orrelia could with labor read both books and maps, she could not write and relied on Hendric for all her outgoing correspondence. Hendric was also her link to the church. For Orrelia counted on Hendric to attend discussions, record them in detail in his excellent shorthand, and bring them home to her small group of women, most of whom could not read at all. Hendric read at her Bible studies and spoke to the group of women as they quilted and would then depart so that the women could speak together. Orrelia could not know the depth of the tragedy — Hendric was carrying a letter for one of her friends from her husband in exile.
Orrelia Hoste was Jacob Van Meteren's daughter and the daughter of Orrelia Orthellius, of the map-making family. Orrelia's husband was deeply involved in the cloth production business, as a part of the Draper's guild. Orrelia's most powerful relative was her brother Emanuel. He was her best hope for assistance, but he was also at great risk himself and therefore limited in his ability to help.
Orrelia came from a family rich in stories of narrow escape from authorities. Her fervent hope was that Hendric would someday be one of those successful escape stories. Her brother Emanuel was named "God with Us" because, when their mother Orrelia Orthellius van Meteren was pregnant with him, the house in Amsterdam was searched. With her husband Jacob away, there had been plenty to find. The authorities looked straight at the trunk that held their brother Leonard's Bible translations to date and her husband Jacob's printing implements, but they did not dig into the chest and did not realize what they had been looking at, because they were distracted. A beautiful woman with no husband in the house can be very distracting when she needs to be. They hadn't yet invented undergarments, so all it took was a fall to provide a diversion. She fell out of nervousness, apparently tripping over something, and that was all it took. You had to admire Mother for that. Nothing was found. Leonard, Jacob, and Myles Coverdale survived to produce the Coverdale Bible.
Excerpted from Rekindled by Teresa Irizarry. Copyright © 2015 Teresa Irizarry. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Rekindled by Teresa Irizarry is a detailed historical fictional account of the beginnings of the concept of separation of church and state that ultimately became a principle held forth in the United States Constitution. As such, this book would be a good resource for U. S. history buffs. The book revolves around the main character of Roger Williams, a Puritan minister and founder of Providence, Rhode Island, but has a number of historical figures in the story as well. It took me a little while to really get into the book as it seems like the first part of the book is more a historical listing of facts rather than a story and it often seemed a little 'choppy' to listen to. The book is replete with historical accounts of the religious, political, and social issues of this time period (the 17th century) giving interest to the book. These accounts include relationships with the native Americans in the Northeast, women's roles, and the lack of religious freedom in these early years of the American colonies. At the end of the book were several appendices, one giving a listing and a bit of information of the characters included in the book which was helpful in clarifying who the many characters were and their relationship to the story. I won a copy of the audiobook through The Book Club Network and was not required to write a review. The opinions are my own.